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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Time-resolved photointermediate changes in rhodopsin glutamic acid 181 mutants.

The role of glutamic acid 181 in the bovine rhodopsin retinylidene chromophore pocket was studied by expressing E181 mutants in COS cells and measuring, as a function of time, the absorbance changes produced after excitation of lauryl maltoside pigment suspensions with 7 ns laser pulses. All mutants studied except E181D showed accelerated decay of bathorhodopsin compared to wild type. Even for E181D, an anomalously large blue shift was observed in the absorption spectrum of the bathorhodopsin decay product, BSI. These observations support the idea that E181 plays a significant role in the earliest stages of receptor activation. E181 mutations have a pronounced effect on the decay of the lumirhodopsin photointermediate, primarily affecting the size of the red shift that occurs in the lumirhodopsin I to lumirhodopsin II transition that takes place on the 10 micros time scale after wild-type photoexcitation. While the spectral change that occurs in the lumirhodopsin I to lumirhodopsin II transition in wild-type rhodopsin is very small ( approximately 2 nm), making it difficult to detect, it is larger in E181D ( approximately 6 nm), making it evident even in the lower signal-to-noise ratio measurements possible with rhodopsin mutants. The change seen is even larger for the E181F mutant where significant amounts of a deprotonated Schiff base intermediate are produced with the 10 micros time constant of lumirhodopsin II formation. The E181Q mutant shows lumirhodopsin decay more similar to wild-type behavior, and no lumirhodopsin I to lumirhodopsin II transition can be resolved. The addition of chloride ion to E181Q increases the lumirhodopsin I-lumirhodopsin II spectral shift and slows the deprotonation of the Schiff base. The latter result is consistent with the idea that a negative charge at position 181 contributes to protonated Schiff base stability in the later intermediates.[1]


  1. Time-resolved photointermediate changes in rhodopsin glutamic acid 181 mutants. Lewis, J.W., Szundi, I., Kazmi, M.A., Sakmar, T.P., Kliger, D.S. Biochemistry (2004) [Pubmed]
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